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Enlightenment And It's Effects Essay

3351 words - 13 pages

IntroductionThe Enlightenment was the perhaps the biggest and most intellectual movements of the eighteenth century. The achievements of the Scientific Revolution had revealed the ability of the human mind to penetrate the secrets of the physical universe. These breakthroughs that had happened during the Scientific Revolution paved that way for other thinkers that dealt with the affairs of human beings and human society. They criticized the existing institutions of absolute monarchy and established church and proposed a broad range of reforms designed to eliminate abuses and to promote individual freedom. While the Enlightenment was a broad international movement, many of its leading thinkers were French. The Enlightenment thinkers are known as "philosophers. The philosophers were not really philosophers at all; they worked to developed new ideas about government, economics, and religion and advanced proposals for the improvement of the human condition and the reform of society. The philosopher's main themes were to basically perfect the human-race so that the church didn't control as much education, as well as make it so the church should not be a force in political life. Among the most famous philosophers were: Voltaire, Adam Smith, Jean-Jacques Roueseau, Montesquieu, Denis Diderot, and David Hume. or vengeance. These emerging groups, seemed to market there beliefs to the public, while the philosophers did the thinking. (Baker 28-34)Enlightenment and the great awakeningThe things that resulted in the Great Awakening were that most of the American population had a common understanding of Christian faith and life. So the North and the South shared a common evangelical view on life. Also religions such as the Baptists, Methodists, and Presbyterians and all of the other non-established groups took root and grew. Even though denomination lines remained, all of the religions shared a common evangelical voice. Not only did it affect religions; it also sprung a great emphasis to be placed on education. George Whitefield ended up founding schools that were firstly made up of Presbyterian ministers. The focus of education came about for the concern of souls mostly. Also greater sense of responsibility for Indians and Slaves emerged from the revival. Whitefield after all was one of the first preachers to preach to blacks. So with this most whites and blacks had an evangelical common point of view and it came to be looked upon as slavery being sinful and having a slave resulting in expulsion from the society. (Samson 94-96)People started to look at religion differently. Puritan theology focused on what God had done for the people. Now, people started to look at what man could do because of the gifts God had bestowed on us. The responsibility for salvation is not God's but man's himself. Now Enlightenment had the concepts of reasons but they didn't agree with having to confess and humble themselves before the Almighty like the people of the Great Awakening....

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